In high school, I was one of those angsty teens that always complained about how much they hated school. Secretly, on the inside, I loved school. It was the people I hated.

I loved learning and reading and all the other nerdy aspects of school. I just could not stand my fellow students, usually because my superiority complex made me find them dull, boring, and stupid. This may sound mean, but it is just the way I was. Everyone always told me how much I was going to love college if I hated high school and I couldn’t wait.

I pictured sitting on the grass under a large oak tree discussing John Donne with a professor wearing jeans and a tweed blazer with elbow patches. More importantly, I imagined my peers challenging my thoughts and having intelligent and lively debates during every class.

Boy, was I mistaken.

I do love college, don’t get me wrong. I do feel challenged, sometimes more than I‘d like to be. And I learned about things I am actually interested in. I even find myself enjoying listening to the comments of my classmates, which is something I never thought I would admit. What can I say? I love hearing my own voice.

With voicing your opinion in college, however, comes with the sad reality of having to hear EVERYONE’S opinion. I respect many of my colleagues at this university, but I struggle with respecting all of them. I try to enter each new class with an open mind to the professor, the material, and the students. And usually by the second or third session, I either love or hate my professor, am interested or bored to tears with the material, and always want to smack at least one person in my class.

Readers, you know that person. That one person who always raises their hand, contributes useless information, and makes your eyes roll so far back inside your head you question whether you’ll ever see again. There is always one. And by the end of the semester, you know far too much about this person, cringe when you see the wheels turning in their brain because you know they’re about to say something ridiculous and you strain your neck trying to avoid eye contact in the halls.

I have no problem hearing a student speak on the subject material, even if I think it’s a little too often. What bothers me is when fifteen minutes of my class time is wasted listening to a story about your Aunt Betsy and the time she knitted you a throw rug. I go to college to learn. I pay LOTS of money to do so. I would really rather not have to listen to someone I don’t care about go on and on about their life and not realize the irrelevance of EVERYTHING they are saying.

Sadly, most of my professors are too polite to tell these people to shut up and never talk again. I have resorted to sitting in the back corner of the classroom so that when I let out a loud sigh of annoyance, it is barely audible, as to not disturb the rest of the class since it happens OFTEN.

A college classroom is not share time. We only have twelve weeks in the semester. So please, if you are about to raise your hand to interject in class, think of the relevance. Think of your classmates. Think of the impending slap.